How To Shape Lucky Bamboo Plants

Instead of trimming, rotating the plant stalks in front of a light source enables the plant to organically grow toward the light, giving lucky bamboo plants their distinctive shapes. Professionals frequently develop stalks on their sides to produce their recognizable spiral forms.

Can bamboo be molded as it develops?

If any of the bamboo stalks get too long, you can cut them off at an angle and then transplant the cut ends in the same spot or in a different container after giving them some time to establish roots in water. Additionally, you may train lucky bamboo to take on other forms like spirals, loops, and braids.

How do I get the fortunate bamboo to curl?

Because their stalks grow in the direction of the light, lucky bamboo plants must be aware of this fact in at least part of their cells in order to thrive. The secret to “curling” a stem is to use light to control its growth pattern until it forms a circle.

Can you make lucky bamboo straight?

Although less well-known than it was a few years ago, it is a common houseplant that may be found in garden centers, florist shops, Asian grocery stores, and even supermarkets. In essence, it’s a Feng Shui-inspired method of enhancing the appearance of a rather ordinary dracena (Dracaena sanderiana), making it clear that it is not at all a real bamboo. The plant is typically presented with 90% of its leaves torn off, typically in a vase or small tray of stones and water rather than soil (the latter to slow its growth down as much as possible so the original look lasts a long time).

Millions of lucky bamboos are grown in a number of Asian nations (China, Taiwan, Thailand, India, etc.), where they are believed to bring luck. There are numerous farmers of bamboo, but one lucky bamboo farm claims to generate almost 9 million stems annually.

I’ve written a few times about the lucky bamboo. Once a general explanation and maintenance instructions: What is a Lucky Bamboo? and once more in the post Transplanting a Lucky Bamboo on how to free one up and thrive in its soil the way it truly wants to.

However, this plant is frequently created with a braided or spiraling stem. One must ponder how they accomplish that. Read on if so.

Professional Method

A dracaena can be trained to grow at strange angles by exposing it to light from only one direction rather than pruning (well, not directly) or wiring (as in bonsai). Hey! It will obediently, but very slowly, bend towards the direction of the light source because it is a plant and needs light. It’s referred to as positive phototropism.

By merely turning the plant on its side, expert growers can instruct their plants to spiral. As a result of the stem’s new horizontal position, its tip will begin to turn toward the light above, resulting in nearly straight-up new growth. But after a few weeks, the growers slightly rotate the stems in a clockwise direction (or counterclockwise). The plant then gently alters its course in an effort to straighten itself. After that, this is done again, gradually giving the plant a curved stem. Warmth, moderate light, high humidity, and careful fertilization are the optimum conditions to sustain for pretty quick results.

It takes a lot of precision labor, and growers must carefully plan their actions, but they have mastered the technique of getting the stem to create a spiral that can be sold.

Creating Your Own Spiral Bamboo

It’s awkward to grow a plant on its side indoors. When a pot is on its side, it is nearly hard to properly water it, the soil leaks out, and if you want to water a plant that has been straightened up, you have to set it down in precisely the right position. Using the “open-sided box approach,” it is considerably simpler to train a lucky bamboo plant to spiral while it is upright.

Here is the approach that is currently suggested by a number of websites, including ProFlowers. I’ve never done it myself and I don’t intend to because it requires just too much work. Additionally, if you execute it incorrectly, your spiral will be incredibly uneven. (Professional growers always get the timing right; they are experts at it.) And even if you try, getting a decent double spiral at home will take years (literally). However, it seems that some people do give it a shot. If you’re very patient, that is!

How do you erect a bamboo plant straight?

Leaning bamboo indicates that it need some type of extra support. The majority of people are concerned about whether any further acts they do may hurt their plants. Your plant will be happy and healthier than ever if you stick to my advice. I’ll provide a couple techniques for preventing bamboo from drooping that won’t harm them below.

It’s a good idea to support and get your bamboo upright with any of these methods if it weeps and gets in the driveway or hides other plants.

Tying the culms to stakes

Tie the canes to stakes to assist maintain them straight if you have a few culms that are bending over. To do this, you can use a wooden or metal cane.

Stake your bamboo down with a tie. Be sure to secure the full collection of culms. Your plant will grow healthy culms if you let it stay in this state for a few months.

Attach the leaning culms to other upright culms

The entire bamboo groove can be tied into a single bundle. This is a pretty easy method for keeping your plants erect. The culms will stand upright and support one another. A fairly powerful chord will be required. It might be a rope or a copper electric line.

Ascertain that the loop extends far enough to encompass the entire grove. Be sure to knot the canes securely, but take care not to tie them too tightly. If the wire has knotted the branches together, loosen them so that your plant looks natural and untied.

If your driveways have bamboo species leaning over, this is a perfect solution for you. Your walkways can be entirely cleared with ease.

Trimming the top of your plants

You can prune the top of your plant to keep your bamboo from becoming top-heavy. Because the top portion of bamboo plants is excessively hefty, most of them bend over.

No harm will come to your plants if you trim the tall stems. You can completely clip off any weaker culms you locate in the groove that the new culms are shading in order to allow more air and light to enter.

How can I keep my lucky bamboo standing straight?

  • As was already established, the hydroponically grown fortunate bamboo plant can only grow in water. It’s also the simplest way to grow this low-maintenance indoor plant.
  • If your pot is small and unable to sustain the plant erect, it is essential to fill it with tiny pebbles that will keep the stem immersed in it.
  • For the plant to flourish, the water must always be one to three inches deep. In other words, always hydrate the roots of the plant.
  • Keeping the vase or container half full of water is the simplest rule to follow.
  • To avoid chlorine toxicity, avoid using tap water as it may have undergone chlorine treatment. The plant may suffer serious damage. Make sure to let tap water alone for at least 16 to 24 hours after using it to allow the chlorine and extra minerals to dissipate.
  • Lucky bamboo’s
  • Use distilled, rainwater, spring, well, or bore water.
  • Every now and again, you may also add diluted aquarium water to the vase to use as fertilizer.
  • To maintain the oxygen level, replace the water a few times per week, or when the vase begins to appear murky and less translucent, change the water and rinse it.
  • When you change the water, it makes sense to clean the containers and stones as well.
  • During the growing season, add a small amount of liquid fertilizer that has been powdered every 4-6 weeks to feed it.

Should a bamboo plant be tied?

Do not untie the Lucky Bamboo plant stems that are knotted together when you buy them because this will cause the plant to become unstable. As long as the water is kept clean and free of chemicals, lucky bamboo plants require very little care and may essentially thrive anywhere. When cultivated in soil, these plants also flourish.

How can I get additional branches to grow on my bamboo?


The tall Lucky Bamboo plants I have are numerous. Most have only one sprouting limb. How can I get these plants to produce additional branches? I’m grateful. Harry Grow, a chef

Plant Expert for the Flower Shop Network: Lucky bamboo only produces a single stalk by nature. However, by removing the top, you may turn any bamboo stalk into a branch. The fortunate bamboo stalk will sprout two new branches on the side of the stalk immediately below the cut if you top it. The top can then be rooted to create a new stalk. To learn how to root the top, see the blog post Turn Your Lucky Bamboo Top Into A New Plant.

How Lucky Bamboo Gets Its Curls

Lucky bamboo grows straight by nature. However, to achieve their final shape, the kinds of spiral, curled, and braided lucky bamboo must be trained. Ideal developing circumstances must be present for this to happen. The sweltering marshes of China and Indonesia are ideal for training fortunate bamboo.

The fortunate bamboo is harvested, and the stalks are then chopped to the proper length. After the stalk has been severed, the bamboo will no longer produce new stalks; only the leaves will do so. The grower then covers the freshly made cut with wax to seal in moisture and protect the plant from illnesses. A rooting hormone, which aids the bamboo in correctly absorbing water and nutrients, is then applied by the farmer to the base of the stalk after the wax has been applied.

The farmer can educate the bamboo to take on different shapes and curls once a robust root system has formed. Natural sunshine is a crucial component. The stalks will bend themselves to reach a single light source according to their growth pattern. The farmer will watch how the lucky bamboo develops and rotate it numerous times toward the sun to give it the desired shape.

Years are needed to form fortunate bamboo through training. Farmers of Lucky Bamboo put a lot of time, thought, care, and work into creating the lovely twist of art that we have all come to adore.

If my bamboo is too tall, what should I do?

Cut an offshoot from the main stem one inch above the node if the plant is getting too tall. Wait for roots to form by placing the freshly cut stalk in two inches of water. The young plant is prepared to continue developing in soil- or water-only pots in a few weeks.

How can I thicken the stalk of my lucky bamboo?

There are several various techniques you can use to thicken your current stalks. All of these essentially revolve around giving your lucky bamboo plant the best care possible.

You should be sure to water your lucky bamboo plant frequently, and using mulch is also a good idea.

The lucky bamboo plant will have a better chance of growing robust if it receives adequate irrigation and makes use of mulch.

If you’re taking good care of your lucky bamboo, you should see the stalk gradually becoming thicker. If it’s too thin, you may not be watering it enough or you may want to think about using mulch.

Utilizing lawn fertilizer is an additional choice for thickening your bamboo.

You could think about applying lawn fertilizer along with proper watering techniques to assist your bamboo stem grow stronger over time.

If you follow the instructions carefully, you should eventually be able to obtain a very thick lucky bamboo stalk.

Think about the surroundings where you intend to grow your fortunate bamboo plants.

You should be aware that bamboo plants thrive in humid areas and that dry conditions might be harmful.

If you’re growing bamboo stalks indoors, you may want to think about upping the humidity level to benefit your bamboo plants.

Why is my fortunate bamboo sagging?

Make sure to water your bamboo regularly in the beginning. Bamboo prefers a lot of deep watering—at least 8 to 12 inches—as well as proper drainage. If you are keeping your plants in pots or won’t be able to transplant for a long, check that every time you water, water is coming out of the bottom of the pot. In contrast to daily shallow watering, a deep soak less frequently is preferable for ground-based plants.

You’ll need to monitor your bamboo carefully for a while to figure out how much and how frequently to water it in your specific microclimate, soil type, and season. Dig down at least 4 to 8 inches on occasion to assess the moisture content of the soil. If the soil is dry at the top 4 inches, the bamboo roots are not receiving enough water.

This is crucial in the first two to three months following transplantation. In fact, during the first few months, we advise you to supplement automatic watering systems with a deep hose watering once or twice every day. Additionally, for an initial transition period of 2-4 weeks, misting or spraying the foliage with water once a day is appropriate in full sun, dry, windy, or hot conditions. Regular overhead watering will speed up the establishment of your bamboo and lessen the amount of leaf drop throughout the changeover. You can mist plants all year long in extremely hot and dry locations because dampness nearly always accelerates development and increases final height.

Water extensively during the initial transition period, then allow for the soil to get just slightly damp—not wet nor completely dry—before watering again. At this time, you may typically rely on an irrigation system with a spray emitter that uses 2 to 4 high volume emitters per plant. (Drip systems are not advised because they do not emit enough water and do not sufficiently cover an area.)

As a general rule, stressed bamboo will have leaves that are curled sideways (lengthwise) from lack of water. Your bamboo may not be receiving adequate drainage or may be receiving too much water if the leaves are sagging downward.

In our coastal West Sebastopol environment, we typically water potted plants three times a week during the summer, and more frequently if it’s particularly hot outside or the plants are in direct sunlight. Similar to this, if it’s cool outside or the plants are completely shaded, we may water less frequently than three times a week. Because of the higher volume of soil, which retains moisture and coolness for a longer amount of time, bamboo planted in the ground typically require less regular watering—once or even twice a week is sufficient. Depending on the weather and the amount of light or shade, we water plants that are root-bound or have recently been transplanted every day or every other day.

Here in West Sebastopol, the frequency of watering fluctuates substantially during the winter depending on rainfall and other weather factors like wind and temperature. We water 1-2 times a week when there are prolonged cold, dry spells. Be aware that well-watered bamboo plants will fare better in extremely cold temperatures. On the other hand, when it rains frequently and severely, we may go weeks or even months without watering.

Once more, the information is provided solely for reference (we can often get 60 inches of rain here, and are heavily influenced by the cool ocean air). There is nothing that can replace monitoring your bamboo plants, your microclimate, and your daily weather.